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View Full Version : 1992 Lexus SC400 issues?


OilHammer
05-18-2012, 02:32 PM
My boss has decided to sell his 1992 Lexus SC400 with 65k on it. Says it's never been wrecked....went to drive it this week and the battery was dead and needed an alternator, so its bothering him. I looked up KBB and I think he was a little disappointed it wasn't worth more.

So....me being a wacky guy that I am, is this worth buying for the wife or just another PITA maintenance problem to deal with? It's been garaged...looks clean, very clean.

Beater
05-18-2012, 06:19 PM
i know they are not well thought of, but I don't know if it's a quality issue or not. BIG ole v8 in there, pretty poor fuel economy with little performance. Think the equivalent of a 560 sl from the early 80's.

limited appeal for 2 seat coupes on resale market that don't sh~t and git...

cool breeze
05-18-2012, 08:31 PM
I thought there quite well built flagship cars, similar to the ls400. Those engines may not be power houses but will last 300k+ easily. Put a 5speed on it and it would be quite fun, plus they sound great with a little exhaust system.

OilHammer
05-18-2012, 09:51 PM
Digging around a bit on other forums and such. Seems that's the consensus...overall flag ship car that won tons of awards in it's day for being solid and reliable. Robbie thought highly of them when I asked...same comment, 300k miles obtainable. The car is completely solid from what I've seen. I'm now driving to Boulder 3 days a week or more, so I'm putting the beating on the 40 and I'm ready for something smoother and less "risky" on the hwy. Dunno...still researching it out. The mileage isn't that rare apparently. I've seen several on ebay in that range, though they were asking for more $$

rover67
05-18-2012, 10:59 PM
If it'll last 300k easily and it is kind of a dog, then maybe there is room for a 100 shot?

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NOS-07006NOS/

OR:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpyX286xBSI

rover67
05-18-2012, 11:18 PM
not a fan of vipers, but the youtube cruising for turbo sc400's turned this up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IOpuGVoyCk

I think this convinces me you should get the sc400 and do a twin turbo/nitrous setup on it.

Then maybe it'd last a more reasonable 100k miles instead of that silly 300k..

that' be a fun commuter.

bomber22
05-19-2012, 03:54 AM
check this out, performance parts for the sc400
www.lextreme.com/allgo.html

Uncle Ben
05-19-2012, 05:59 AM
The 4 liter V-8 is typical Toyota conservative but can be made into a beast relatively easily! Give Ben Swain a call! He just did a few very mild tweaks to his and it really woke it up!

Beater
05-19-2012, 07:14 AM
dont get me wrong - not bashing it, just not a performance powerhouse. the 4.5 is the base motor that toyota used for racing. VERY doable, just not a performance car.

if you aren't after that, it's an sl coupe style car, with better reliability!

TIMZTOY
05-20-2012, 05:42 PM
buy it !
i have a 94 ls400 and i love it. big v8 = 23 MPG totally stock.
mine has 215,000 miles on it. when i bought it all i had to do was a timing belt. and a battery, becuase it was sitting for a while.
i absolutlly love my car, and would actually rather have a "sc?00" (sporter)
so if you want to trade let me know :D
of if you would like to just drive another 1uz-fe car to compare the preformance (which is awsome) let me know.

OilHammer
05-20-2012, 09:38 PM
Already made up my mind to get it. Just need to drive it and crawl around it in the daylight to make sure of what I'm getting into. Everything I have read, these things might be the best car Lexus ever made....
I think the more popular one to "mod" is the SC300. Straight six and some came in a manual. The ricer guys like to turbo them and make them into drifters. V8's seem to be more of the drag racers, though they are even putting 6 speed manuals on those.

pmccumber
05-20-2012, 09:50 PM
I have an SC300 and it is a pig but UB promised to boost it for me;)

I have had it almost 3 years and think very, very highly of the car. Haven't had a single thing go wrong on a daily driver 17 year old car.

Uncle Ben
05-20-2012, 10:46 PM
5HZcK0j25sg#!

OilHammer
05-21-2012, 08:22 AM
Good lord....I bet that guy has 15k in turbos in there. I think stock these cars were in the 6.something seconds 0-60. You turbo it and I bet you are into the 5's.. twin turbo, etc has to just be a monster. I'm guessing that would slide in the snow a bit.

pmccumber
05-21-2012, 08:54 AM
5HZcK0j25sg#!

I'd take 500 horse at the wheels! Stack of hundreds get you started? :)

60wag
05-21-2012, 09:43 AM
Some years ago, I had an LS400 for a rental car. That this was sweet, plenty fast enough for me. I always thought the SC version was a really nice looking coupe.

OilHammer
05-21-2012, 12:44 PM
Pretty clean. Drives well. Certainly no rocketship at the moment, but respectable. Hell, compared to an LX450, it IS a rocketship.

rover67
05-21-2012, 12:52 PM
wow, looks killer. nice find! :)

OilHammer
05-21-2012, 01:21 PM
Yep...bought it. No more 40 commuting to Boulder unless I want to. The 40 will now move back to garage queen status while I fix the diesel and do some paint touch up.
Really have to sell the 45 now....no where to park all these!

pmccumber
05-21-2012, 02:17 PM
Dood, you are going to really like that car.

Beater
05-21-2012, 02:23 PM
very clean man, I do love the look of those things. like smoother supra's.

Uncle Ben
05-21-2012, 02:30 PM
very clean man, I do love the look of those things. like smoother supra's.

SC300's ARE Supra's! Look at pics side by side....take off the park bench from the trunk and remove the body fairing and presto your Supra just put on pink panties!

Pick out the Supra...
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3407/3587339662_120febfa03.jpghttp://www.japanesesportcars.com/galleries/data/media/42/black-supra_2.jpg

OilHammer
05-21-2012, 04:24 PM
Same, but not the same. A turbo supra in this condition would bring +$30k
The platform is the same, but similarities really end there. The SC300 had a straight 6 and could be had in a manual tranny, the SC400 is a V8 and always automatic. I "think" the SC300 and the base supra had the same engine, but the turbo engine is significantly different. Body and interior wise, I'm not sure they share any panels other than maybe the roof line, and the supra was available in a T-top so even that may be different.

I will say this though: When you rev up that v8 in the parking garage, it is nothing short of bad ass. Doesn't sound like any Lexus I have ever heard. Super charging and dropping in a 6 speed manual would make this some serious holy chit material. And at less than a quarter of the price of a Supra, you have plenty of money left to do it. Of course, assuming you had $30k to drop on an old sportscar, which I don't.

pmccumber
05-21-2012, 04:45 PM
The Supra came in 2JZ-GE and 2JZ-GTE flavors. The SC300 came in 2JZ-GE.

The Supra GE variety and the SC300 are identical platforms. Damn near everything in my SC300 I can buy Supra parts (belts, air filter, brakes, ...) for it. Even the basic chassis of the SC400 are the same as Supras.

Now the blocks are the same between the two but the differences in the head, injectors, and internals are pretty significant.

pmccumber
05-21-2012, 04:47 PM
That 6 spd in the Supra TT might be the best part of any car Toyota ever made. Guys all over the world build these things up to 1000+ HP and those 6-speed Getrag/Toyota V160 transmissions handle them with ease.

TIMZTOY
05-21-2012, 08:26 PM
yea and just the manual tranny for them are like $2000.00

OilHammer
05-21-2012, 08:44 PM
2, heck, I googled them and saw 5 and 6. 2 is not that bad, as a new H55F is more than that. Figure, if the auto went belly up, what would it cost you to have it rebuilt? Way more than just swapping in the manual.

Corbet
05-22-2012, 06:22 AM
I wish I could own something like that but there would be no getting that up the hill in the winter. So its just not cost effective to park my 80. Great find, you'll love that car. Don't mod it just drive it with a :)

OilHammer
05-22-2012, 08:44 AM
Yup, no mods. I have three cruisers to repair now, so all funds I don't have will go towards buying parts for them. 45 needs clutch slave, 40 needs a re-sleeve, 450 needs TRE, and valve job. Sigh.... hopefully the SC turns out to be as solid as it's reputation. I don't have bandwidth for any more cars needing maintenance or mods. :)

OilHammer
05-23-2012, 08:26 AM
So, I fiddled with it on the way home last night and then again while parked at home. Why is it that this is a 1992 and it has WAY more gadgets and luxury items than my 97 LX450? The wireless key entry is way sweeter, seat memory, auto adjusting steering wheel, all the courtesy lighting, etc etc. I guess you could say there is more to break, and that's true, but things like the lighting are fairly idiot proof and a million times more handy than what came in the LX. I even like the turning lights...things like that just make sense.

pmccumber
05-23-2012, 09:27 AM
One "mod" you might consider and it made a huge difference with mine was to get IS wheels. The wheels on my 95 were 16" and yours look like 17" but I bought 17" staggered IS wheels and it brought the wheels out considerably more to the fender and kept the OEM look without making it too "ethnic".

LARGEONE
05-23-2012, 10:42 AM
So, I fiddled with it on the way home last night and then again while parked at home. Why is it that this is a 1992 and it has WAY more gadgets and luxury items than my 97 LX450? The wireless key entry is way sweeter, seat memory, auto adjusting steering wheel, all the courtesy lighting, etc etc. I guess you could say there is more to break, and that's true, but things like the lighting are fairly idiot proof and a million times more handy than what came in the LX. I even like the turning lights...things like that just make sense.

You would think Lexus/Toyota would have put these options on the flagship of their off-road vehicle fleet. Doesn't make sense...other than it might have made the LC/450 $65K instead of $45K in 1997!!!

Caribou Sandstorm
05-23-2012, 11:18 AM
Looks really nice, the color is not bad at all!

Guess your wheeling the 450 on the next fall trip?

Uncle Ben
05-23-2012, 11:30 AM
Since we are on the subject of SC/Supras I just had to share this vid.......:lmao:
XX58JrInSh8

OilHammer
05-23-2012, 01:23 PM
The wheels on my 95 were 16" and yours look like 17" but I bought 17" staggered IS wheels and it brought the wheels out considerably more to the fender and kept the OEM look without making it too "ethnic".

I'm not a fan of the chrome 18"s on there now. I'm not sure what you mean by ethnic, but I think I'm offended. :lmao:
I would have no trouble selling this car back in Atlanta, that is for sure.
If I thought I could sell the wheels and tires and put something else on there for 100 bucks or so extra, i would do it in a flash. My guess is that I will pretty much need to run these things bald, then sell bare rims when I'm ready to take the plunge on new tires. If I keep it that long...

OilHammer
06-12-2012, 07:18 PM
Sigh....not for me. I honestly had just planned on keeping this through the summer and selling it, but I will probably post it up for sale next week. I can't get over the color, and I have come to grips with the fact that it really should be parked in someone's garage as a play toy. Every time a storm rolls through, I'm cringing that it's going to be peppered in dings b/c I have to park outside. I already have three "collector" type cars, and this one is the fourth. That just makes zero sense, so I have to choose what to keep. 40 wins, SC loses.

TIMZTOY
06-12-2012, 08:28 PM
ill trade ya :hill:

wesintl
06-12-2012, 09:06 PM
I'll swing by tonight/tomorrow and dent it up so you don't have to worry about it.. THen you can drive it like a raped ape. :hill:

OilHammer
06-12-2012, 09:37 PM
(Raped Ape) I already did that in the parking lot of Stevenson after club. :eek:
Figured out it doesn't have a limited slip. :blah:

There are certainly some truths about that car....
-if I keep driving it, I'm going to get a ticket.
-my lower back hurts after driving it
-I love the lines
-The dash is sweet...love the simplicity of it
-I wish it was B on B. I don't like tan leather, and the gold reminds me of an old woman living in Florida. Nothing against those that are, but that's not exactly the look I want to have.
-I wish it was a 6spd manual...begging for it!
-The longer I have it and the more I hang out on ClubLex, the more likely it's going to get modified. I don't have time or money for that. Gotta go before I do something stupid and ruin a rare car for someone else.

pmccumber
06-13-2012, 08:28 AM
I'm not a fan of the chrome 18"s on there now. I'm not sure what you mean by ethnic, but I think I'm offended. :lmao:


This might help you understand my comment ... :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA2CDJWx5So

OilHammer
06-26-2012, 01:42 PM
Whelp, call me a flipper I guess, it just hit reserve on ebay. I won't make any money on it, but it was fun while it lasted. Definitely nice to have something other than a LC to drive around in for a bit though. Hope the new owner appreciates what it is b/c it really grew on me.

OilHammer
09-14-2012, 08:28 AM
Sort of related:

There is a guy that lives near me with a 100 in the driveway. One day I drove by and his garage door was open and I noticed he had a car lift.....and a TT supra, and TT RX-7.
Finally saw him again last week and dropped in to say hello. Turns out he's a mud guy and a former RS guy. I don't recall his name (very hard to pronounce) but he used to have an 80 with a 6" lift, sold it and bought the wife an LX470.

The real story is that TT supra. Black, 6spd, T-tops, pristine, 50k on the clock, and it was RIGHT under my nose. Doh! He said he just bought it one block over from me from an older guy. It's not riced at all....dangit! That would have been sweet